City Series Doesn’t End Wells for the Cubs – Cubs 0, White Sox 7

Game Sixty-Nine – Cubs 0, White Sox 7
WP – Gavin Floyd (5-7) LP – Randy Wells (1-2) Save – None

The Cubs could not pull off the sweep on the South Side and was shutout in the season finale against the White Sox. The Cubs won the series (2-1) but lost the season series 4-2 to the White Sox.

The Cubs managed just four hits on the night and Gavin Floyd picked up his first career victory over the Cubs (1-4). The Cubs wasted two scoring chances in the first three innings. Steve Clevenger struck out looking with two on to end the first and the Cubs wasted a leadoff double by David DeJesus (1-for-4 with a double) in the third.

The Cubs only other scoring chance, while the game was still in question, came in the sixth when Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a triple) led off the inning with a standing triple, his seventh three-bagger of the year. Bryan LaHair (0-for-3 with a walk) and Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4) struck out and Steve Clevenger (0-for-4) grounded out to second to end the inning.

Gavin Floyd and the Sox pen retired the last 12 batters they faced to close out the game.

Randy Wells could not throw strikes again and lasted just 3 2/3 innings in his first start since the end of April. Wells walked four of the first 10 batters he faced, two of them scored. The Sox did not square up Wells and all three runs scored on opposite field bloop hits. Randy Wells was once again his own worst enemy and did more to beat himself than the Sox did.

Randy Wells allowed three runs on five hits without a strikeout on 69 pitches, 41 for strikes. Wells issued four free passes and could have pitched his way out of the rotation again. Dale Sveum said after the game that Wells is not guaranteed another spot start. The Cubs might have to bring up either Chris Volstad or Chris Rusin the next time Dempster’s spot in the rotation comes back around.

Scott Maine was beyond horrible in the sixth. Maine could not find the strike zone and he missed his spots by feet not inches. Maine labored through a 24-pitch inning, 10 for strikes. Gordon Beckham, who torched Cubs’ pitching throughout the six games, cranked a three-run shot to right off Maine that doubled the Sox lead and put the game away.

Jairo Asencio and Manny Corpas did their job Wednesday night and kept the Sox off the board. Casey Coleman allowed a run in his inning of work and dodged a scary moment in the seventh when he was hit by a large portion of a broken bat. X-rays on Coleman’s hand and wrist came back negative.

The Cubs finished their Interleague schedule with a 5-10 record for the second season in a row.

With Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 24-45 on the year …

David DeJesus flied out to deep left to start the game (2-2 pitch). After Starlin Castro flied out to right, Bryan LaHair worked a two-out walk. Alfonso Soriano shattered his bat and reached on an infield single up the middle. Gordon Beckham fielded the ball on the third base side of second but his throw from the shortstop position was offline. Steve Clevenger looked a 1-2 breaking ball to end the inning.

Randy Wells fell behind Alejandro De Aza in the bottom of the first. De Aza ended up ripping a 3-2 back up the box. Wells got a glove on the ball, slowed it down and deflected it to Castro. De Aza could not beat Castro’s throw to first. Gordon Beckham hit a routine grounder to third for the second out. Wells wanted nothing to do with Adam Dunn and he walked him on four pitches. Paul Konerko grounded out to short on Wells’ 16th pitch (seven for strikes) to end the inning … Barney picked Castro’s low throw out of the dirt for the final out.

Eduardo Escobar made a sensational diving stop on the third baseline to take away extra bases from Darwin Barney to start the second. Luis Valbuena grounded out to first (2-2 pitch) but Reed Johnson singled to right to keep the inning going for Tony Campana. Campana tapped a 1-2 pitch back to Gavin Floyd (first base side of the mound) to end the inning. Floyd threw 41 pitches over two innings, 28 for strikes.

Wells retired Rios on a routine grounder to Castro to start the second. A.J. Pierzynski worked a one-out walk. Dayan Viciedo hit a 0-1 pitch toward second. Barney fielded the ball in the baseline and tagged Pierzynski (who stopped running between first and second) for the second out. With Viciedo at first, Alexei Ramirez flied out to the track in center for the third out … 32 pitches for Wells after two, 17 for strikes.

David DeJesus led off the Cubs’ third with a double in the right field corner (1-2 pitch). Starlin Castro swung at the first pitch and grounded out to the hole at short. DeJesus held at second. Bryan LaHair took three straight out of the zone to start his at bat. LaHair smacked a 3-1 pitch back up the middle that Floyd knocked down and threw to Konerko for the second out. DeJesus advanced to third but was stranded when Soriano grounded out to third to end the inning. Floyd was sharp against the Cubs in the first three innings, 54 pitches and 36 strikes.

Randy Wells lost his command in the bottom of the third and issued free passes to Eduardo Escobar and Alejandro De Aza to start the inning. Back-to-back walks to start an inning rarely turns out well … and the Sox took advantage.

The Sox helped out Wells by having Gordon Beckham bunt. Beckham sacrificed Escobar and De Aza to second and third with one out. Adam Dunn drove Wells’ first pitch into left field. Campana caught it on a bounce and Escobar scored the game’s first run. With runners on first and third with one down, Paul Konerko blooped Wells’ first offering into right. De Aza scored and the Sox took a 2-0 lead. Wells settled down somewhat and was able to retire Rios on a deep fly just to the left of center. With runners on first and second with two down, A.J. Pierzynski broke his bat on the first pitch and hit a slow roller to Barney for the third out. After three, 52 pitches (29 strikes) for Randy Wells.

The Cubs did nothing in the fourth.

The White Sox tacked on and knocked Wells out of the game in the bottom of the fourth. After Dayan Viciedo fouled out to LaHair to start the inning, Alexei Ramirez singled to left center on a 3-2 pitch. Wells retired Escobar on a pop out to left (2-0 pitch) for the second out. Alejandro De Aza reached on an infield single up the middle. Castro fielded the ball and tried to flip to Barney to force Ramirez but his toss was offline and short.

Gordon Beckham blooped a 0-2 pitch from Randy Wells into shallow right just out of the reach of a diving Darwin Barney. Ramirez scored and the Sox took at 3-0 lead.

Dale Sveum decided he’d seen enough and went to his pen for Jairo Asencio.

Adam Dunn hit a routine grounder to first. LaHair fielded and kicked the bag to end the inning.

After four, the Cubs trailed 3-0.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth.

Jairo Asencio made quick work of Paul Konerko (flied out to left center) and Alex Rios (grounded out to third) to start the fifth. A.J. Pierzynski reached on a single to right center but Dayan Viciedo grounded out to third to end the inning.

Starlin Castro tripled to left center to start the sixth … but LaHair (struck out swinging) and Soriano (struck out looking) and Clevenger (grounded out to second) could not get the job done and Castro was stranded at third.

Scott Maine started the bottom of the sixth and really struggled with his command. Maine was missing his spots by feet and not inches. Maine retired Ramirez on a grounder to second. Maine fell behind Escobar 2-0 before sawing off his bat on a 2-2 pitch. Escobar blooped the pitch into right for a single. Maine then walked De Aza on four pitches.

Gordon Beckham, who is an All-Star when he plays the Cubs, drove a 1-0 pitch just over the wall in right … and just like that the Sox took a 6-0 lead. Maine somehow threw enough pitches in the strike zone to retire Dunn on a grounder to first. Paul Konerko just missed a 3-1 pitch and popped out to Barney in shallow right to end the inning.

After six, the Cubs trailed 6-0.

The Cubs did nothing against Gavin Floyd and Matt Thornton in the seventh.

Casey Coleman took over in the seventh and the inning ended with a scary moment for Coleman.

Alex Rios led off the inning with a single to left center. Rios then broke for second on a 2-1 pitch to Pierzynski. Barney fielded the ball and flipped to Castro but a non-sliding Rios touched the base just ahead of Castro catching the ball. Castro fired to first to nail Pierzynski for the first out. Viciedo flied out to right on a 3-1 pitch. Rios tagged and advanced to third. Rios then scored the seventh run of the game when Alexei Ramirez blooped (another) hit into right.

Eduardo Escobar grounded out to second to end the inning but when he hit the ball, he broke his bat and the broken end of the bat hit Casey Coleman. The bat appeared to hit Coleman near the right hand and wrist. Coleman was in obvious pain and left the field on his own power.

At the end of seven, the Cubs trailed 7-0.

The Cubs did nothing against Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain in the eighth.

Manny Corpas started the eighth and plunked Alejandro De Aza with his first pitch. While it will never be known, one must wonder if that was for Alex Rios breaking a couple of unwritten rules in the bottom of the seventh. De Aza stood at the plate and was not happy as Steve Clevenger got in between him and Corpas. De Aza eventually went down to first base.

Corpas retired Beckham, Dunn and Konerko in order to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Will Ohman in the ninth … game over.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Thursday is a day off in the desert for the Cubs. Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Joe Saunders in game one of the three-game weekend series against the Diamondbacks on Friday night.

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Quote of the Day

"The only way of finding the limits of the possibility is by going beyond them into the impossible." - Arthur C. Clarke
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  • paulcatanese

    Winning or losing is a team effort, so I can’t really complain. Although it would have made my year if they had swept that other team.

    • confused_cubs_fan

      Winning or losing is a team effort so you can’t complain? What the heck does that mean? Seriously, I think some you you posters need to take a break and get a grip on your colloquialisms.  Cubs offensive was lousy tonight and I think that deserves a complaint, much like the majority of this terrible season.  

      • paulcatanese

        I always thought it was nine players that play the game,my point being that its a team, maybe not a good one on any given night(with the Cubs, more than one), But they all are wearing a Major League uniform
        so they should be judged as such.
        If you choose to complain, so be it, thats you’re choice.
        Me? I never complain:):):).
        I try to find some way to digest this season, period, and its like eating bad food.

        • paulcatanese

          P.S. The complaining should be directed at the source, who put the roster together?
          Not the players, they try, maybe not with success but they try.

  • Tony_Hall

    With the Rizzo watch coming to end, the question I have is when?  We know this weekend is when the extra year of control is secured, but when will they pull the trigger.  

     – Immediately, it was all about the service time and gaining the extra year of control.  
     – Monday, not going to bring him up in the middle of a series
     – Monday, July 2nd – His Cubs debut will be on the road, and he will get a week to get comfortable with his teammates and have some success before coming home to Wrigley, where the scrutiny level will be off the charts.

    I would do Monday July 2nd.  Forget about just the fans being all over Rizzo, the hometown media is going to smother this guy and letting him get his feet wet on the road is a good idea.

  • Tony_Hall

    The other question is which outfielder is gone to make room for Lahair becoming an OF?

    R Johnson – The vet was just here to fill a roster spot until the kids pushed him out.  Some team has interest in him and he will be traded to one of them.

    A Soriano – With his longest sustained hitting period with the Cubs, totally coincidentally when he went to a lighter bat, still going on, teams are lining up to trade for the guy with the Cubs credit card picking up the tab, it is time to pull the trigger and extend his career as an AL DH.

    J Mather – OK role player, given another shot and if neither Reed nor Alfonso trades are teed up, then Mather is the guy.

    I prefer Soriano being dealt before he finds where they hid his heavy bats.

  • Chadaudio

    Interesting points Tony… yeah, July 2nd makes sense to me, but I’d be fine with earlier too.

  • paulcatanese

    Tony, have you hit the nail on the head. I was going to post the same thing this morning.
    The pressure put on this kid will be unreal, the road is correct, the only place to bring him out.

  • Chadaudio

    Mather doesn’t have options – right?  Wouldn’t he have  to clear waivers?  I have a bad feeling they’ll send Campana back down (ugg).

  • John_CC

     Good question Tony. 

    I think that we’d mostly all agree that if Soriano could be traded, that is the preferred option.

    Othewise it has to be Reed or Mather. Johnson is the best pinch hitter on the team, and just a better hitter than Mather. But Mather’s versatility certainly is +1 in his favor. 

    But with Campana being the only option with minor league options, he makes the most sense if Soriano is not moved.  Because the Cubs will continue to work on trading Soriano, assuming it does happen later this summer, then Campana can be brought back. If they trade/cut Johnson or Mather and then trade Soriano latter wouldn’t that put them short one OF?

  • Ripsnorter1

    The way I see it….
    #1 Soriano is going NOWHERE. Let me say it again, only much louder: SORIANO IS GOING NOWHERE. Why not? Because nobody on the planet wants the $54 million dollar liability. Sure, Team Theo could eat the entire $54 million, and accept a DFA’d player in return, but I doubt that even Team Theo has that much gall. 

    THERE. I DID IT. I gave Team Theo credit for something. A thimble full of gall. And that’s more than he has for brains.

    #2 Johnson stays. He’s earned it. He’s going nowhere.

    #3 Mather stays. He hasn’t earned it, but he’ll stay anyway.

    #4 Campana stays. He’s earned it. And even Team Theo isn’t that stupid, are they? ARE THEY? ARE THEY????????

    #5 So, the loser is…………

    (Drum Roll, please)……………..

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now going to announce the ultimate loser in the Anthony Rizzo Sweepstakes……..[besides you, the fan]…………

    “Aaron’s favorite player……picked off the Oakland Athletics scrap heap………….

    Hitting .152 (after hitting .319 in the Offensively Inflated PCL)…………………………

    Adrian Cardenas!!!!”

    [much applause]

    “Let the strikeouts begin!”

  • An old Cub

    When are we going to get some relief pitching?  Randy Wells needs to go back to St. Louis area, the  beers are cheaper and fresher there.

  • DWalker

    Johnson and Mather both seem to see a lot of use, with Mather being all over the field. I expect Campana gets sent down unfortunatly.

  • Tony_Hall

    I believe the FO has also known the exact date for Rizzo and have been working the phones and will make a trade.  I don’t believe they want to send Campana down, he is useful type of player to any team.

  • Tony_Hall

    That would leave them a little short in the IF, no chance and no drum roll needed.  

    How could they possibly play Soriano, DeJesus, Lahair, Campana, Mather, R Johnson in the OF and have only Baker as a back-up in the IF, sorry but cutting Cardenas has no chance…unless it involves another move to bring up another IF.

    I feel if a Soriano trade is available, that is the 1st choice.  And he will be traded, because they will pay most of the contract, if they can get something back in return.

    A Reed Johnson trade is the 2nd choice, and trading or trying to pass through waivers Mather is 3rd.  The last thing this team needs to do is send down Campana, who fills a need every team needs, speed.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Mather “plays” 3B.
    Baker plays 3B, 2B, 1B.Barney plays SS, 2B.Castro plays SS. 
    Rizzo plays 1B. 
    Valbuena plays 3B, 2B and ahem, SS.Every INF position is covered at least twice.

    What’s the problem?

    Sure, I’d love to see our top power bat (Soriano) traded away for Josh Hamilton, but I don’t see it in the cards.

  • Tony_Hall

    All possible, but not a good situation.

    Who ever said that we would get Josh Hamilton for Soriano?  

    Paying all his freight, and getting back a mid-level, prospect back is about it.

  • Ripsnorter1

    O’s, the Nursing Home of Baseball, say they might take him off of our hands. That’s actually credible, and incredible at the same time.

  • Tony_Hall

    Here is where I read “your mind” :)